Vodacom Super 14

Cheetahs seek attacking edge

2010-03-02 22:33
Cheetahs brains trust. (Gallo Images)
Jóhann Thormählen

Bloemfontein – Lock Waltie Vermeulen is set to make a first start for the Cheetahs in Saturday’s Super 14 match against the Hurricanes.

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské made four changes and a positional switch following the defeat to the Highlanders.

The changes are aimed at giving the Cheetahs an attacking edge.

Vermeulen, 21, has to date only been picked off the substitutes bench, but is preferred to David de Villiers for this match.

It is possible that Barend Pieterse may also soon be considered for selection.

Drotské said that there was little to choose between Vermeulen and De Villiers.

“If he plays well, it can be a long-term move,” he said.

The 112kg lock was part of Free State’s under-21 side and part of their Currie Cup plans last year.

Drotské is also satisfied with the progress that Pieterse, who retired in 2008, is making.

Pieterse played about 60 minutes for Free State’s Vodacom Cup team on Saturday.

He will feature again for the Vodacom team this week and next and according to Drotské, may be in the Cheetahs’ plans for their Super 14 match against the Stormers.

“It all depends on how well he has played and recovers.”

The Cheetahs also included Sarel Pretorius (scrumhalf), Robert Ebersohn (outside centre) and Hennie Daniller (fullback) in the starting line-up.

Pretorius replaces Tewis de Bruyn, while Daniller gets an opportunity at the expense of Riaan Viljoen.

Ebersohn starts after recovering from an ankle injury and will man the midfield, with Lionel Mapoe moving back to the wing.

Drotské believes there is strong competition for about half the positions in his team.

“If the guys don’t win, we have to make changes. We can make four or five changes without the team being significantly weakened,” he said.

He hopes that the changes will result in more urgency on attack. The Cheetahs’ bench is also looking very different.

Ashley Johnson (No 8) has been omitted for Kabamba Floors and will play for Free State.

Drotské wanted to consider Hendro Scholtz (flanker), but he was concussed in Free State’s Vodacom Cup match.

“We need guys that can add a spark, especially in the second half. As a Springbok Sevens player, Kabamba can do that,” said Drotské.

The Cheetahs:
Hennie Daniller, Lionel Mapoe, Robert Ebersohn, Meyer Bosman, Jongi Nokwe, Naas Olivier, Sarel Pretorius, Frans Viljoen, Juan Smith (captain), Heinrich Brüssow, Waltie Vermeulen, Nico Breedt, WP Nel, Adriaan Strauss, Wian du Preez.
Substitutes: Ryno Barnes, Coenie Oosthuizen, David de Villiers, Kabamba Floors, Tewis de Bruyn, Riaan Viljoen, Danwel Demas.


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